Sunday, August 9, 2015

Citrus Snap Cookies

There are some treats that never really appear unless it is the holidays. Cut out cookies usually are reserved for the Christmas holidays. The shapes made are usually those of the occasion: bells, Christmas trees, gingerbread men...etc. I guess because of the time involved, it is only the holidays that motivates some people to make these type of cookies.

Well, just to be clear....these particular cut out cookies are not for the Christmas holidays. Made with a myriad of fruit zest and juices, they are most appropriate around spring or summer. That is when citrus fruit is the most plentiful and perfectly ripe.

No holiday to motivate you? Consider it a holiday when the kids go off to school! Or better yet, make the kids first day a little bit nicer by tucking a few of these away in their lunch bag.

The fun part about cut out cookies is the opportunity to make them unique. Choose whatever shape and decorate however you want. The cookies pictured above are in the shape of a butterfly, have just white glaze with sprinkles. With all the different colors of sugars, gel pens and different miniature decorations ( I even saw little "minions") the style possibilities are limitless. This recipe makes about 2 - 2 1/2 dozen.

Citrus Snap Cookies
adapted from Orlando Edible Feast 
3 tbs fresh lemon juice
3 tbs fresh orange juice
3 tbs fresh lime juice
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp orange zest
2 tsp lime zest
1 cup or 2 sticks softened butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients/ Glaze & Topping
1 lb confectioners sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tbs lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs pasteurized egg whites

For the cookies, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Pull out 2 small bowls. Mix the three kinds of zest together in one bowl. In the other bowl, combine all juices.

Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with the sugar and butter. Cream together, beating on medium high for about 3 minutes. Then add the juices, zest and salt. Beat until evenly distributed.

Remove bowl from mixer stand and fold in one cup of flour. Once blended, fold in the additional cup. Place a long sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Gather dough into a ball and place in the middle of the plastic sheet. Flatten into a disc, about 1/2 an inch thick. Fold plastic over the dough, making sure all is covered. Then place in refrigerator to chill for about an hour for the dough to firm up.

While dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface and dust with flour, this will be your rolling area. Also, place parchment paper underneath a cooling rack.

Once dough is firm, take out of refrigerator and divide in half. Keep one to work with and put the other, covered, back in the refrigerator. Roll dough out onto prepared surface, ending with an 1/8 inch thickness of dough. Cut into desired shapes and transfer to parchment lined baking sheets, spacing about 1/2 inch apart. Then place filled baking sheet in refrigerator. Dough will need to chill again for about 10 minutes.

After the chilling time is complete, place sheet in oven and let cookies bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until cookies are a light golden color on the edges and the bottom. Remove cookie sheet and place on cooling rack. After about 2 minutes, transfer cookies to rack. Let cool completely before frosting or decorating.

Repeat the process of forming and baking with the dough scraps and the remaining dough in the refrigerator.

For the glaze, mix all ingredients together and spoon glaze onto tops of cookies. After about 3 minutes, put topping of your choice onto glaze (sprinkles, sugar, dragees, etc.). Give the glaze time to completely harden prior to storage.

Tips and Notes:
1. The standard way to form these type of cookies, is to cut them out and then transfer to baking sheet. Instead of this method, you can roll out dough on parchment paper that fits the interior of the baking sheet. After rolling, parchment is then transferred to cookie sheet and shapes are cut out. Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes. Pull out pan and remove cold dough from around the cut shapes. Then place in oven to bake. By eliminating the transfer step from the standard process, you eliminate any possibility of losing the shape of the cookie.

2. The glaze can be as thin or thick as you want. The thicker it is, the less it will run off and drip on the parchment below the rack.
**LAST YEAR:JD's Birthday Cake**                    **2 YEARS AGO: Grand Marnier Cake**